2 in 3 diesel generator users in Delhi NCR residents surveyed not likely to retrofit their DG set to CNG by Dec 31 CAQM deadline due to high costs involved
- ● 12% Delhi NCR residents surveyed who use diesel generators have gotten it retrofitted to CNG
- ● 21% of those surveyed indicated they are likely to do so by December 31st
- ● 67% of respondents have no plans to comply with CAQM deadline
- ● High costs involved is the top reason why majority generator owners not are not opting for CNG retrofitting
- ● Residents suggest that CAQM must look at structuring some type of incentive via tax department or via local bodies/utility service provider and extend the compliance date
December 14, 2023, New Delhi: Mindful of the persisting problem of high levels of air pollution for most part of the year, particularly during the winter months, the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) had in June this year issued orders prohibiting use of diesel gensets with capacity of 19kW or above in all districts/ cities in Delhi NCR (National Capital Region) including Noida, Greater Noida and Gurugram. Giving into public pressure, CAQM had allowed, as a one-time exception, continued use of diesel generators of all capacities from October 1 till the end of the calendar year to ensure that essential emergency services are not disrupted and to allow adequate time for the implementation of required emission control measures. The commission has made it clear that this exception will apply even during periods of restrictions under the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) but only until December 31. GRAP is a set of anti-air pollution measures implemented in Delhi-NCR during the winter season. In the previous years, the action plan was implemented as an emergency response mechanism to poor air quality levels. The order also bars the use of large diesel gensets for backup in industrial, commercial and residential areas across the NCR. Emission control devices (ECDs) are fitted at the exhaust of the machines to trap pollutants such as particulate matter and gases.
Most gated colonies and societies, hospitals, offices, factories, workshops, showrooms, etc., use diesel operated generators as power back up to ensure uninterrupted electricity supply. The use of dual fuel mode kits allows a machine to operate on multiple fuels such as diesel and natural gas. CAQM order, issued on June 8, allows 19kW and above gensets to use green fuels like LPG, biogas, propane or butane besides natural gas. Also, their use will not be curbed under the restrictions ordered as part of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) to curb rise in pollution during the winter months.
Recently many entrepreneurs in Noida had met representatives of Indraprastha Gas Ltd (IGL) only to be told that new gas connections will take 90 to 120 days and those seeking dual connections will have a long wait besides having to furnish their GST certificate and PAN number. Out of thousands of manufacturing units in Noida, more than 400 units are currently on the waiting list of IGL for new and/or dual connections. As in the case of public transport in Delhi, CAQM is now striving to promote use of green fuel (CNG, solar, etc.) for creating power backup.
As the CAQM orders may necessitate retrofitting or investment in new generator sets to comply with the new air quality norms in Delhi-NCR, LocalCircles has conducted a survey to gauge how residents of the region are viewing this attempt to curb pollution and whether they are likely to comply with CAQM directives by December 31. The survey received over 20,000 responses from Delhi NCR residents located in the cities of Delhi, Gurugram, Noida, Faridabad and Ghaziabad. 69% respondents were men while 31% respondents were women.
Only 12% Delhi NCR residents surveyed who use diesel generators have gotten it retrofitted to CNG and another 21% likely to do so by December 31; 67% do not plan to comply
Where possible many gated colonies and industrial / commercial units are trying to comply with CAQM orders. The survey asked “How are you/your society complying with the diesel generator restrictions effective from October 1st, 2023 as the GRAP guidelines for pollution control are in effect? (Diesel Gensets can only be used for emergency purposes till December 31, 2023, and by then must be retrofitted to CNG). Out of 10,005 who responded to this query 12% indicated they “have already retrofitted our diesel generator to CNG” and 21% indicated that they “plan to get the generator retrofitted to CNG by December 31”. Of the remaining respondents 46% indicated that they “do not plan to comply and will deal with whatever repercussions” and 21% indicated that they “plan to manage the situation with the local officials”. To sum up, only 12% Delhi NCR residents surveyed who use diesel generators have gotten it retrofitted to CNG and another 21% are likely to do so by December 31; 67% do not plan to comply.
Majority of Delhi NCR residents surveyed who are unwilling to retrofit their diesel generator to CNG by December 31 cite budget/ cost as the key reason
As mentioned earlier, while some want to comply with CAQM orders, they are facing difficulty in meeting the deadline. The survey asked “What are the key reasons that you/your society are not getting your diesel generator retrofitted to CNG by Dec 31st, 2023?” Some among those surveyed indicated more than one reason with 98% of respondents stating that they “don’t have the requisite budget/funds”; 73% of respondents stated “don’t have consensus amongst all residents/stakeholders”; 49% stated that they are “not convinced that this conversion will make much difference”; and 24% indicated “other reasons” besides those stated above. To sum up, majority of Delhi NCR residents surveyed who are unwilling to retrofit their diesel generator to CNG by December 31 cite budget/ cost as the key reason; 3 in 4 say they do not have consensus amongst residents/ stakeholders to incur the associated costs.
In summary, only 12% Delhi NCR residents surveyed who use diesel generators have gotten it retrofitted to CNG and another 21% likely to do so by December 31; 67% do not plan to comply. Majority of Delhi NCR residents surveyed who are unwilling to retrofit their diesel generator to CNG by December 31 cite budget/ cost as the key reason; 3 in 4 say they do not have consensus amongst residents/stakeholders to incur the associated costs. Given the survey findings that indicate budget and consensus amongst residents/ stakeholders to incur the associated costs being the top constraint for most societies. In the community discussions on LocalCircles, some citizens have suggested that the CAQM work with tax authorities or local bodies/utility service providers in the NCR cities to create a mechanism where the right incentive/rebate can be provided to all who upgrade their DG sets to CNG thereby reducing the financial impact on the residents. Some residents also expressed that such mandates are not feasible for many societies without financial assistance and hence the compliance date should be extended till a financial support mechanism is in place. Without the same, many say it is highly likely that the local pollution department officials will engage in corrupt practices and harass residents or AOAs/RWAs for non-compliance.
The survey received over 20,000 responses from residents of Delhi, Noida, Ghaziabad, Gurugram & Faridabad. 69% respondents were men while 31% respondents were women. The survey was conducted via LocalCircles platform and all participants were validated citizens who had to be registered with LocalCircles to participate in this survey.